Correlation May Not Mean Causation

Having a degree in Political Science, I must write at least one article from my field. After all, politics IS a science. Those who say, “Well, it is not a hard science!” never had Dr. Brian A. Bearry, Ph.D (UT Dallas) for Political Theory.

An article published two days ago on CNBC discusses U.S. cities that are quickly “minting millionaires.” This article shows a map of the cities, which include:

  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Washington, DC
  • San Francisco
  • Houston
  • Boston
  • Philadelphia
  • San Jose
  • Detroit

What makes this interesting is when you see the map of the United States showing these successful cities and then compare it to a map of the country’s electorate. All but one of these states’ electoral votes went to the president in the last election, and all of the cities voted for the current administration.

Does this mean cities that vote for Democrats are more likely to produce millionaires? It depends on who publishes the report. Of course, a real scientist will argue it is a coincidence and that a coincidence does not equal causation—Half of all political scientists will argue the opposite.

Cities that grow millionaires:

Electoral vote for the 2012 presidential election:

Dr. Brian Bearry:

You decide.


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